Expansion Draft: Western Conference Teams

Ian Gooding


Breaking down team by team how the expansion draft affects the Western Conference team by team

The Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft on Thursday was a unique event in that it had an impact on every NHL team. So we will focus on what impact losing at least one player will have on each Western Conference team. The focus will not be on the formation of the Knights, as that will be covered in another article. It’s also important to note that these transactions are not final in any way, since there are numerous trades and free agent signings that have yet to happen.

Anaheim Ducks – Shea Theodore, Clayton Stoner

The Ducks were destined to lose a defenseman and they didn’t want it to be the unprotected Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson. So the Ducks will focus on the present and let top prospect Theodore fly. This move may not change the value of Vatanen, Cam Fowler, or Hampus Lindholm, since Theodore has played only 53 NHL games spread over two seasons and was in tough to take on a significant role if the Ducks’ defense somehow remained unchanged.

Theodore’s and Stoner’s departures should result in Brandon Montour cracking the Ducks’ squad full-time and could even nudge his way onto the second-unit power play. Montour scored 32 points in 36 games in the AHL last season, so like Theodore he also comes with significant fantasy upside. In fact, Theodore and Montour are ranked 1 and 3 respectively in Dobber’s latest Top 50 Fantasy Hockey Prospect Defensemen.

Arizona Coyotes – Teemu Pulkkinen

Pulkkinen played in just four games for the Coyotes, so the fantasy impact of this pick on the Coyotes will be minimal. With many young forwards on the Coyotes, Pulkkinen was anything but certain to crack the squad. Super prospects Clayton Keller and Dylan Strome will already no problem making the squad, but the door should open another crack for Christian Fischer to receive some NHL time this coming season.

Calgary Flames – Deryk Engelland

Engelland has virtually no fantasy value outside of hits and blocked shots, so there’s not much to mention here. With his contract and that of Dennis Wideman and Ladislav Smid coming off the books, the Flames will have an extra $8 million to spend, perhaps on defensemen that can complement Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, and T.J. Brodie. Stay tuned.

Chicago Blackhawks – Trevor van Riemsdyk

Losing van Riemsdyk wasn’t ideal for the Blackhawks, as he had assumed regular minutes